Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LECO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday morning. They currently have $104.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Lincoln Electric anticipates modest year-over-year sales and margin growth in the second half of 2017. Lincoln Electric will gain from continued investment in the marketing strategy for the retail channel. The Air Liquide acquisition will enhance its 2020 Vision and Strategy and will be immediately accretive to Lincoln Electric's earnings. Improving end markets, tax benefits and acquisition strength will drive growth. Progress in organic growth in China and Australia also remain tailwinds. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in the last few quarters. Lincoln Electric’s estimates have been undergoing positive revisions over the past two months. Over the past year, Lincoln Electric significantly outperformed the industry's return on the back of these factors.”

A number of other analysts have also recently issued reports on LECO. KeyCorp reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings in a research report on Friday, August 25th. ValuEngine raised Lincoln Electric Holdings from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. FBR & Co reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Robert W. Baird set a $91.00 price objective on Lincoln Electric Holdings and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Finally, BidaskClub cut Lincoln Electric Holdings from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Lincoln Electric Holdings presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $89.29.

Shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings (NASDAQ LECO) traded down 0.13% on Tuesday, reaching $91.68. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 283,741 shares. Lincoln Electric Holdings has a 1-year low of $59.27 and a 1-year high of $97.97. The firm has a market cap of $6.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.50 and a beta of 0.98. The company’s 50 day moving average is $87.28 and its 200-day moving average is $89.00.

Lincoln Electric Holdings (NASDAQ:LECO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 25th. The industrial products company reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.03. Lincoln Electric Holdings had a return on equity of 30.55% and a net margin of 9.86%. The company had revenue of $626.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $620.28 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.83 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Lincoln Electric Holdings will post $3.75 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Investors of record on Friday, September 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 28th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.53%. Lincoln Electric Holdings’s payout ratio is currently 40.46%.

In related news, VP Michele R. Kuhrt sold 3,080 shares of Lincoln Electric Holdings stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.55, for a total transaction of $272,734.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 14,449 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,279,458.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 3.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LECO. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 115.1% during the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 114,937 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $9,984,000 after purchasing an additional 61,508 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. lifted its holdings in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 4.5% during the 1st quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 3,616 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $313,000 after purchasing an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc lifted its holdings in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 7.7% during the 1st quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 4,650 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $404,000 after purchasing an additional 332 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. lifted its holdings in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 14.8% during the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 37,207 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,232,000 after purchasing an additional 4,805 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in Lincoln Electric Holdings by 6.6% during the 1st quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 1,808 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $157,000 after purchasing an additional 112 shares during the last quarter. 63.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Lincoln Electric Holdings Company Profile

Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc is a manufacturer of welding, cutting and brazing products. The Company operates through three segments: Americas Welding, International Welding and The Harris Products Group. The Americas Welding segment includes welding operations in North and South America. The International Welding segment primarily includes welding operations in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lincoln Electric Holdings (NASDAQ:LECO)

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